Reductio Ad Absurdum

(Stephan Savoia / AP Photo)

Via Jonathan Martin, I see that John McCain floated a rather curious criticism of Barack Obama this afternoon in Florida:

"Barack Obama's only answer is to double-down on the Bush Administration's legacy of out-of-control spending."

The attack on the president is predictable. Judging by McCain's scathing interview with the Washington Times this morning--"we just let things get completely out of hand"--the era of forced comity between the two former foes is officially over. But the thing that gets me is the pivot to Obama. It's like McCain suddenly linked Obama's incessant "More of the Same" refrain to Bush's sub-30 percent approval rating and decided, you know, what the hell. This is a game two can play.

Setting aside the mind-bending irony of the senator's argument--last time I checked it was McCain who had an R after his name and "voted with the President over 90% of the time"--I have to admit that I'm eager to see where he takes it next. Does Barack Obama plan, for example, to double-down on the Bush Administration's legacy of launching unilateral wars in the Middle East and predicting that "we will be welcomed as liberators"? How about the Bush Administration's legacy of cutting taxes for "the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who need tax relief”? Then again, McCain could go in a different direction and start accusing Obama of being an "erratic" hothead who selected an unprepared neophyte as his running mate.

So much strategery, so little time.

UPDATE, Oct. 24: By the way, McCain is right to suggest that Obama's proposals would add to the federal deficit. The problem is that his would, too. Via the Los Angeles Times:

In a recent study, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget laid out how much the presidential candidates' spending and tax-cut proposals would add to the federal deficit in 2013. McCain's proposals for major new corporate tax cuts and other expenditures would add $211 billion to the $147-billion projected deficit, said Maya MacGuineas, president of the watchdog group.  Obama would raise the CBO's projected deficit by even more -- by $286 billion -- if the government adopted his program of middle-class tax cuts, a healthcare insurance program, and boosted energy and infrastructure funding.

Pot, meet kettle.

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